Performers get star treatment at school ‘Oscars’


Some of Sydenham High School’s top performers in drama, music and dance received West End star treatment at their very own glittering Awards evening at the school on 26 May.

Special guest of honour to present the Sydenham High ‘Oscars’ was multi-award winning British stage director Marianne Elliott, widely known for her ground-breaking productions of Warhorse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

A champagne reception was followed by a sumptuous dinner, interspersed with a dynamic showcase performances from the school’s Jazz Collective, Contemporary Dance Company and Chamber Choir plus a reprise of the best moments from the recent acclaimed school production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and a number of stand-out individual performances.

The evening culminated in a formal awards ceremony.  These included: Musician of the Year (Jade Lucas), Dancer of the Year (Jamilah Balogun) and Actor of the Year (Maddy Telford), each sponsored by School Travel Organiser Magazine. There were also a Chorister’s Award for dedication and commitment in choir was shared by which Eleanor Wyncoll & Lili Telford, plus certificates of achievement and progress in each discipline at each Key Stage.

Presenting the awards, Marianne Elliott said: “I was truly thrilled to see such an array of talent in music, drama and dance tonight.  The students were so committed, so passionate, so talented and yet so supportive of each other.  It’s impressive to see girls of all ages working together, showing confidence and blossoming to their best abilities.  Clearly it’s an exciting time ahead for the performing arts at Sydenham High.”

Headteacher Kathryn Pullen also presented the first Kathryn Pullen Performance Award, for the student showing the best overall commitment to the performance arts, to Hannah Faja.

The final two awards were presented to the winners of the school’s first House Monologue Slam competition, sponsored by Robinson Jackson Estate Agents’ Sydenham office which has previously supported the school’s fundraising events.

Heats for the Monologue Slam had been run over the previous two weeks with the final taking place on the morning of the dinner, judged by Head of Drama Laura Yandell; Headteacher Kathryn Pullen; producer Scott Ponsford and Partner at Robinson Jackson Robert Wright.

The Classical title was taken by Grey House with a performance from The Crucible by Laure Denaro, while Gurney House picked up the Modern title with a performance from Electra by Ellen Wylie.

Robert Wright commented: “The atmosphere for the Monologue slams was electric and the performances were outstanding.  I was surprised at the clarity of speech, confidence and character depth of the performances.  I am sure that it is the beginning of something great for the young stars!”

Mrs Pullen closed the Awards, saying: “This evening has been phenomenal – demonstrating what a potent mixture of talent, enthusiasm and commitment exists here at Sydenham High.”

Here is a full list of Award winners:-

Music Awards:

KS3 Progress Award – Emily Walsh, Francesca Curle

KS3 Achievement Award – Esme Burke

KS4 Progress Award – Ella Skinner

KS4 Achievement Award – Maria-Elena Ensignia

KS5 Achievement & Progress Award – Rebecca Kent

Jazz Performance Award – Ella Plumb

Chorister Award for commitment and dedication to choir – Eleanor Wyncoll & Lili Telford

Sydenham High School Young Musician of the Year – Jade Lucas


Dance Awards:

Leadership – Lili White & Shivani Patel

Choreography – Ellen Wyllie

Excellence in Dance – Jamilah Balogun & Alice Nicholson

Progress in Dance – Lauren Lawrence

Sydenham High School Dancer of the Year – Jamiliah Balogun


Drama Awards:

KS3 Progress Award – Laila Kyambadde, Amelia English, Lea Graham

KS3 Achievement Award – Lili Morgan

Leadership and Excellence in the Arts Award – Tyla-Rae Fatoyinbo

KS4 Progress Award – Emily Rea, Ella Skinner, Ella Gluyas

KS4 Achievement Award – Maddy Telford

KS5 Progress Award – Zarina Sarkar-Patel

KS5 Achievement Award – Lili Telford

Progress in Technical Theatre – Jessica Verri

Monologue Slam (Classical) – Laure Denaro

Monologue Slam (Modern) – Ellen Wyllie

Sydenham High School Actor of the Year – Maddy Telford

Kathryn Pullen Performance Award – Hannah Faja

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